oa Global Media Journal - African Edition - Media and governance in Nigeria : a critique of selected radio and TV programmes during the elections

Volume 6, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 2073-2740



This study is carried out through the case study method which uses multiple sources of evidence to investigate post-election violence in Nigeria's second republic. The main thesis of the study is anchored on the contention of Gana (2000) that the media in a democracy should "promote the culture of peace, development, people's participation, positive virtues as well as promoting a stable polity" (p. 11). Across centuries, normative theories of politics have been anchored on an assumption that modern representative democracies thrive in an information environment in which the citizens learn and consequently carry out certain obligations. According to Carpini (2004), "the citizens learn about pressing issues of the day, follow the actions of elected and government officials, and communicate their views to these officials" (p. 395). However, theories of direct democracy have established a scenario of richer communication environment that helps provide citizens with motivation, ability and opportunity to participate in on-going political activities through diverse ways. According to North (1967), "politics could not exist without communication, nor could wars be fought" (p. 301). The reason behind this assertion was provided by Deutsch (1963) who stresses that "it is communication, that is, the ability to transmit messages and react to them that makes organization" (p. 77). Isaak (1981) equally makes a similar assertion. He points out that "it is through communication that a political system relates to and copes with its environment" (p. 292). The study is a critique of selected political programmes of radio stations and TV in Nigeria during the elections. This is a period when politically articulate citizens are eager and, in some cases, anxious to know the latest about the on-going elections. Due to the sensitive nature of politics, it is expected that every piece of information that is aired is thoroughly investigated and authenticated to guard against any thing that could induce violence. When this is not done, violence will surely occur. Through a qualitative research method with emphasis on a case study, the study arrived at the conclusion that the post-election violence which erupted in the Old Ondo state was due to non-adherence to the broadcasting code, partisanship and the unprofessional conduct of media men.

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